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Realistic Grass in Maya

By Isidro Fernández Calderón
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Date Added: 30th December 2010
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Well, that's not too realistic, is it?  The individual blades of grass are too wide and too uniform. We need some variations in the shapes of the top of the blade should be thin and the base should be wider.  And we also need to change the shapes and the colors of the grass; but we can leave the shape alone for now so we can see the colors more easily.

I am going for a "mountain" look, so I need randomly placed plants and a somewhat dried, "end of summer" color scheme.   We'll use some dark greens and yellows for the highlights and the top of each blade of grass. But before we change the colors, let's increase the density of the grass to cover the whole terrain. We can do this by opening the Attribute Editor, selecting the general grassBermuda configuration panel, and increasing the density option

There are several other important options available in the Attribute Editor. "Seed" controls the algorithm that created the form and positions of the grass in the terrain. "Display quality" lets you decrease the number of blades of grass displayed in the viewport, but does not affect the actual density. It reduces the real-time load on your computer. Here is the terrain with the density set at 3.2.

Now, let's get back to coloring the grass.  In the attribute editor, open the shading options for the "grassBermuda" stroke.


Shading Options

This panel contains the materials properties for the selected object.  We have both "shading" and   "tube shading" option; keep in mind that Paint Effects involve a lot of experimentation, so go ahead and adjust settings to see how they change the image.  We will set the basic color of the grass here, and if you like, you can set transparency and incandescence attributes as well.




One interesting feature is the ability to use ramps or other texture files in the color, incandescent, or transparency slots; we can even animate the textures. I will not be covering this here, but again, if you would like a tutorial, send me an email.
Past the Shading attribute is Texturing. We will create a texture and apply it to our Paint Effects grass; here we can give it transparency (from a ramp or a fractal), change the color, and add displacement. Feel free to experiment with settings here; perhaps try a checker pattern for the color texture, or anything else that you want.


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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Manju on Mon, 13 February 2012 12:45am
Very self explanatory..thanks
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